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Poster: George Peter Gatsis Date: Jul 29, 2012 10:19am
Forum: feature_films Subject: It's A Wonderful Life...

It's A Wonderful Life was public domain, BUT then went back into copyright because there was a song in the movie that was still under copyright... It this correct?

Now, what if someone dubbed out the copyrighted words? Would that put IAWL back into the public domain?

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Poster: larus Date: Aug 1, 2012 9:13am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: It's A Wonderful Life...

The music isn't the main issue: the film is based on a Philip Van Doren Stern's short story The Greatest Gift, for which the copyright was renewed:

The greatest gift. © 20Dec43;
AA446178. Philip Van Doren Stern
(A); 10May71; R505822.

Paramount holds the exclusive film rights to the still-copyrighted story and have been restricting distribution of the film, a derivative work from the story, on that basis.
Charade (1963) is in the same situation.